Antonin Artaud

Van Pagée, Ank

In periods of depression Ank van Pagée showed great interest in writers and artists who suffered from depression themselves, who wrote novels and plays about the subject. She made dozens of portraits of artists, like Antonin Artaud.

Artaud, 1896-1948.  French writer, director, actor, etc.
The final phase of Artaud’s life, he spent in different asylums. He was put under the charge of Dr. Gaston Ferdière. Ferdière began administering electroshock treatments to eliminate Artaud’s symptoms, which included various delusions and odd physical tics. The doctor believed that Artaud’s habits of crafting magic spells, creating astrology charts, and drawing disturbing images, were symptoms of mental illness. It was during these treatments — in conjunction with Ferdière’s art therapy — that Artaud began writing and drawing again, after a long dormant period.